Skip to main content

Happy Birthday, Balky

Dear Balky,

Happy birthday. You would have been 47 today--I think, I can never really remember how old any of you are except Rich. We would have celebrated with your favorite overly rich chocolate cake and Nanny's dilapidated 4 and "Where's the stupid 7? Can anyone find the 7?" candles. You would have eaten the whole piece of cake and saved the icing for last, like you always did. I never understood how you did that. Just watching that ritual made me feel like my tongue was stuck to the roof of my mouth.

You've missed a lot these past 14 years. Babies, laughs, tears...many of them shed for you. Beth's kids are all grown up, and she is a grandma now: James and Dan have beautiful children of their own. Chloe and Katy are graduating from high school this year, and you never got to meet Peyton and Lily and Jinju. They would have loved to play "lump." I guess you see them. Maybe Papa told you about them.

Other things have changed. We moved, and now Nanny is coming to move in with us. Too much space and memories on Porter Street. Good and bad. She'll bring the good. Hopefully the bad will stay there and not spill bad karma onto any future residents. Porter Street is a mess, though, not sure how much hope we have of selling it. Although, we optimistically buried a St. Joseph statue in the front yard yesterday.

I still have the card you gave me the last Christmas you were here. I read it sometimes. You told me that Brad and I should cherish each other and the love we have. I wish that I had sent you a card telling you to cherish yourself, or telling you how much we cherished you. I wonder if it would have made a difference. I don't have the last note you wrote anymore because I don't like to remember you like that. I write that off as one of those notes that should have been written and never sent. I don't think it was meant for anyone to read, even though you may have felt that way at the time.

I try to remember you as the person I saw in my dream months after you died. You were happy and joking and smiling, and I like to think that's how you are in heaven. Cracking all the other angels up. I bet you are glad that Papa is there. Beth said one time this summer, when I had a rough day and too many glasses of wine, "Chris and Balky didn't get him for very long; it is their turn now." I guess. If I had my choice, you would all be here celebrating Christmas with us. But, I had to live with your choices and God's will. And I did my best. Still am, I guess, doing my best.

So on your birthday, and every day, I love you and miss you.

Love,
Lanimous

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Did I Love Him Enough?

I just started reading a new book. It's called Weight Loss for People Who Feel Too Much by Colette Baron-Reid, who I discovered on my current favorite podcast: This is Fifty With Sheri and Nancy. It is blowing my mind and showing me that some of the extra pounds I'm carrying don't even belong to me. Seriously. This is yours, this is his, this is hers, and oh wait, THAT? That belongs to a person who isn't even part of my life anymore! Great. Take your shit back.

More on that later. But, listen to the podcast. Seriously, you will love it!

Anyway, while in this super zen, grown-up, boundary-setting, higher self head space, I need to tackle an issue I've been avoiding for about 18 years but really strongly avoiding for the last 6 months. My son is growing up. He graduates from high school on Sunday, and in a few months, he's moving to Columbus to attend THE Ohio State University.

Can I tell you a secret? I used to LOVE everything about THE Ohio State University, bu…

Why Didn't I Report It?

When I was 17, I went with friends to a party at a boy's house from another school. I drank too much and passed out. I don't remember much about the incident, but I woke up with my friend screaming at a boy, pulling me up and dragging me to the car. She told me that she came looking for me and found me passed out. The boy had his penis in my face. I don't remember it. Thankfully.

I never told my parents who would have said, "How stupid could you be? You shouldn't have put yourself in that position." They would not have said, "No one should put his penis in your face without your consent."

A few months ago, I saw a picture of that boy on social media. He's a man now. With a beautiful family. He probably doesn't remember that night. I wondered: What might have happened if my friend didn't walk in and tell him to get his dick out of my face? Were there were other girls whose friends didn't come looking for them? Did they ever tell anyone…

Red Lipstick and Leopard Shoes

A month or so ago my friend and LOBL partner Melissa shared about a few of her favorite things. I loved this post because:
 1) The Sound of Music is one of my all-time favorite movies.
 2) Thinking about your favorite things is a huge mood booster.

In counseling, my therapist walked me through exercises to find a safe calm place inside my mind to go when feeling overwhelmed. The goal is to find peace, comfort, belonging, acceptance, worthiness, etc. within us so we don't need to chase it down from others. I always go to my favorite place: a beautiful little island near Key Largo we visit with our best friends. The first time we went was a magical experience: Dolphins played around the boat splashing in the aquamarine water, and I squealed, "This can't be real!" I tried to capture every single detail so I could go back there in my mind over and over. Any time someone asks me where I want to go, it's here. Always here.

I often write about these things, my favorite…